American Film Director, Producer and Screenwriter
Francis Ford Coppola
American Film Director, Producer and Screenwriter
When I was going for my graduate degree, I decided I was going to make a feature film as my thesis. That's what I was famous for-that I had my thesis film be a feature film, which was You're a Big Boy Now.
When I was sixteen or seventeen, I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a playwright. But everything I wrote, I thought, was weak. And I can remember falling asleep in tears because I had no talent the way I wanted to have.
When newspapers started to publish the box office scores of movies, I was horrified. Those results are totally fake because they never include the promotion budget.
When you lose your kid, it's the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning for about seven or eight years. Then there's the first morning when that's not the first thing you think of. You get brave.
You donÂ’t have to specialize - do everything that you love and then, at some time, the future will come together for you in some form.
You ought to love what you're doing because, especially in a movie, over time you really will start to hate it.
Your work parallels your life, but in the sense of a glass full of water where people look at it and say, 'Oh, the water's the same shape as the glass!'
You're in a profession in which absolutely everybody is telling you their opinion, which is different. That's one of the reasons George Lucas never directed again.
Well, yeah, because I feel that all films shouldn't be sequels. Sequels are not done for the audience or cinema or the filmmakers. It's for the distributor. The film becomes a brand.
What the studios want now is "risk-free" films but with any sort of art you have to take risks. Not taking risks in art is like not having sex and then expecting there to be children.
When I do a novel, I don't really use the script, I use the book; when I did Apocalypse Now, I used Heart of Darkness. Novels usually have so much rich material.
When I was about 9, I had polio, and people were very frightened for their children, so you tended to be isolated. I was paralyzed for a while, so I watched television.
When I was about nine, I had polio, and people were very frightened for their children, so you tended to be isolated. I was paralyzed for a while, so I watched television.
People feel the worst film I made was 'Jack.' But to this day, when I get checks from old movies I've made, 'Jack' is one of the biggest ones. No one knows that. If people hate the movie, they hate the movie. I just wanted to work with Robin Williams.
They needed someone to write a script of The Great Gatsby very quickly for the movie they were making. I took this job so I'd be sure to have some dough to support my family.
Roger Corman exploited all of the young people who worked for him, but he really gave you responsibility and opportunity. So it was kind of a fair deal.
They say that "A Streetcar Named Desire" really is Tennessee Williams' expression of himself as Blanche, as someone talented and fragile, fragile in a world of harsh reality.
Steven Spielberg is unique. I feel that the kinds of movies he loves are the same kinds of movies that the big mass audience loves. He's very fortunate because he can do the things he naturally likes the best, and he's been very successful. Martin Scorsese, I think, is different. If Exxon went to Martin and said, "Martin, we feel you're one of the best artists in the world today and we're going to finance any movie you want to make because we believe that at the end of your life those will be very valuable movies," he would be making very different movies from what he's making now. I think he probably has scripts that he's trying to get someone to enable him to make and then another one comes on and they say, "Look, we have Jack Nicholson and so on and so on. Would you do it? And of course he says, "Okay. Not that he doesn't like it or they're not good movies, but I think that his heart is maybe in more personal filmmaking.
This idea of Metallica or some rock n' roll singer being rich, that's not necessarily going to happen anymore. Because, as we enter into a new age, maybe art will be free. Maybe the students are right. They should be able to download music and movies. I'm going to be shot for saying this. But who said art has to cost money? And therefore, who says artists have to make money? In the old days, 200 years ago, if you were a composer, the only way you could make money was to travel with the orchestra and be the conductor, because then you'd be paid as a musician. There was no recording. There were no record royalties. So I would say, "Try to disconnect the idea of cinema with the idea of making a living and money." Because there are ways around it.
Ten Days That Shook The World, by Eisenstein, I went to see it, and I was so impressed with this film, so impressed with what cinema could do.
To me, it was fun... To them, it was a life-and-death career thing.
The book is inherently difficult to adapt to the screen, and we've never quite found the right combination of director and writer to do it justice until now.
We developed that script, David Peoples and I. We worked on it for months. The film was made based on that script we finished. Nobody wanted to make it. I'd even sent it to Clint Eastwood to act in it. I don't know whether he read it. Finally after two or three years of paying the options, I let it go and then Clint picked it up.
I've been failing for like, ten or eleven years. When it turns, it'll turn. Right now I'm just tryin' to squeeze through a very tight financial period, get the movie out, and put my things in order.
The easiest way to make sure a movie is successful is to make a traditional movie very well. If you make a slightly unusual movie or [don't] exactly follow the rules as everyone sees them, then you get in trouble or, like with Apocalypse, wait 20 years to hear that was really good.